What to visit / Near Barcelona / Tarragona


Family adventures and an adrenaline rush for thrill-seekers at the biggest theme park in the south of Europe; the city where Emperor Augustus lived for two years and made the capital of Hispania; the birthplace of "Castells", the human towers that have been awarded UNESCO Intangible Heritage status; the Cistercian trail featuring three medieval monasteries, one of them a World Heritage site; kilometres of fine, sandy beaches that are perfect for families because of their shallow waters, and some of the world's most renowned wine-producing regions. Can you afford to miss it?

PortAventura World Parks & Resort is the biggest theme park in the south of Europe, with the highest roller coaster on the continent (Shambhala), a water park (Costa Caribe Aquatic Park), an area for families (SésamoAventura), more than 30 rides and attractions and 15 entertainments every day. The park is on the "Costa Daurada", or Golden Coast, so named because of the colour of its sands, with its renowned coastal resorts, such as Salou.

If you prefer the peace and quiet of inland areas, you can go on the Cistercian Trail which includes the monasteries of Santa Maria de Vallbona, Santes Creus and Santa Maria de Poblet. The latter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also explore the 14th-century walled village of Montblanc, where, according to legend, Sant George confronted the dragon, or visit the wineries in Montsant or Priorat which have been awarded Protected Designation of Origin status and produce some of the most highly prized wines in the world. And if you like traditional folklore, make sure you don't miss Valls, the birthplace of "Castells", the human towers that have been awarded Intangible Heritage status.

And, of course, you can't miss the city of Tarragona, with its important Roman legacy. Emperor Augustus lived here and made it the capital of Hispania Citerior. The city, which has the walls, circus, praetorium and amphitheatre overlooking the sea, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll also be able to enjoy the medieval quarter, with its Gothic cathedral, and the Serrallo, the fishermen's district where you'll be able to sample typical fish and seafood dishes.

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